Single-board computers are frequently employed in embedded applications. An embedded computer cannot be expanded upon and contains only the input and output capabilities it needs for its design. For example, a vending machine might have an embedded single board computer in it to control the functions of the vending machine. Still, there would be no provision to add more hardware to the computer to expand its capabilities.
In many cases, single board computers are plugged into a backplane. The backplane allows for input and output devices to be attached to the computer. Single-board computers are frequently used in rack systems, providing reliable and fast integration into a system.
Single Board Computers Ideal Performance
The truth is that single board computers are not the only models that the industry can use. Unlike the multi-board computers, single-board computers come with many useful benefits. Also key is their varying flexibilities and versatile performance capability.
Single-board computers have all of the capacity required to perform most automation tasks, and specialized designs are widely available. These computers have some significant advantages over using a typical desktop computer for the applications to which single board computers are usually put.
Single-board computers are tiny. This allows them to be embedded in devices where space is minimal. The computers are also very efficient, giving them an edge where saving on power is concerned. In addition to these advantages, single board computers are self-contained, making them very reliable under environmental conditions.
Cost-Effective for Industries
Even though single board computers generally have less capacity than a multi-board computer, they are often more expensive than a multi-board computer. Single-board computers are somewhat specialized equipment, which means that they are not manufactured in the same quantities as are standard multi-board motherboards. However, the reliability of these computers makes them very cost-effective solutions for industry. Because they are self-contained, it is relatively easy to swap one out for the other if a computer needs to be replaced.
Various backplane options allow these computers to be expanded tremendously in their capabilities, so they are not overly limited by their designs. In fact, with certain types of backplane arrangements, single board computers can provide for more expanded capacity than a standard multi-board computer and in a much more compact amount of space.
Vast Variations and Specifications
Another combinatorial benefit of using single board computers is their vast variation and specifications. There are different types of single board computers available. Among the most common types are those that are designed to use backplane connections. These come in designs that work with various architectures, including Intel architectures and others. The systems include the PXI, VXI, and the CompactPCI types, all of which are widely available.
Some of them come with I/O interfaces geared toward audio applications, networking applications, wireless applications, and so forth. While single board computers are generally differentiated from multi-board computers by having all of their components installed on the single board, some do come with expansion slots. These expansion slots include popular designs such as microSD, Mini PCI, PCI, ISA, PCI Express, etc.
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